Archibald Prize After Hours: Hear Trixie Mattel chat to Benjamin Law


The Art Gallery of New South Wales is currently presenting the 2020 Archibald Prize exhibition and each week writer Benjamin Law is hosting a conversation with artists and their subjects.  It’s called the Archibald Prize After Hours Online Talk Series.

Tonight, Benjamin’s guests are artist Kim Leutwyler and the subject of her Archibald-finalist portrait, Brian Firkus, otherwise known as drag superstar Trixie Mattel.

Kim, who is known for her vibrant portraits of figures from the LGBTQI+ community, has painted Trixie before, dressed in her signature pink-and-yellow Barbie-inspired style. But for her 2020 Archibald Prize entry, Kim decided to paint Brian, the man behind the frocks and wigs, who has stunned audiences with his musical and performative prowess, both in and out of drag.

Brian and Kim will share stories of the portrait’s genesis in Los Angeles, where Brian answered the door to Kim wearing only a towel, and the dazzling finished painting now hanging in Sydney.

Kim Leutwyler was born in the United States, migrating to Australia in 2012. She lives in Sydney and works in a variety of media including painting, installation, ceramics, printmaking and drawing. Kim is interested in painting as a medium because of its primarily masculine history in the western art canon – and has come focus on notions of beauty, gender and queer identity. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Australia and the United States and she has been a finalist in the Archibald and Sulman Prizes, the Churchie Emerging Art Prize and the Portia Geach Memorial Award.

Trixie Mattel is the stage name of Brian Michael Firkus, an American singer, actor, drag queen and recognized ‘skinny legend’. Trixie is the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, season 3. He is also a Billboard-charting recording artist (One stone, 2018), a wildly successful touring act, and one half of a comic duo with Katya (in the web series UNHhhh and I like to watch). In 2019, Trixie worked the festival circuit as the subject of a biographical documentary, Trixie Mattel: moving parts, and released his Skinny Legend comedy special. This year finds Trixie releasing his third album Barbara, hitting the road on the Trixie Mattel: grown up tour and releasing a book with Katya called Trixie and Katya’s guide to modern womanhood.

Log on to the event from 4:30pm – 5:00pm WA time.

OIP Staff


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